On December 20, 2012, Nuance Communications, Inc. (“Nuance”) of Burlington, Massachusetts filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Shanghai HanXiang (CooTek) Information Technology Co., Ltd of China and Personal Communications Devices, LLC of Hauppauge, New York (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain mobile handset devices and related touch keyboard software that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,750,891 (the ‘891 patent); 7,453,439 (the ‘439 patent); 7,098,896 (the ‘896 patent); 7,075,520 (the ‘520 patent); and 6,286,064 (the ‘064 patent).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to user interfaces of mobile handset devices such as smartphones.  For example, the ‘891 patent relates generally to a selective input system that tracks motion of an input device (such as a finger) over a keyboard to select a character.  Detecting different parameters of motion such as changes in velocity, location, etc. allows the system to improve the accuracy of the user’s inputs.  The ‘439 patent describes a text input system that allows prediction of complete words based on initial inputs and frequency of usage, and the ‘896 and ‘064 patents encompass similar technology, where possible matching words are presented to a user for selection.  The ‘520 patent describes methods of distinguishing two possible characters associated with a single key, where a user indicates one of the two possible desired inputs.

The complaint asserts that the Proposed Respondents infringe the asserted patents through the use of various pieces of software on the line of Venture mobile handset devices.

Nuance stated that the same patents have been asserted against the Proposed Respondents in the District of Delaware in Nuance Communications, Inc. v. Personal Communication Devices, et al., Case No. 1:12-cv-01722.

Nuance asserts that it meets both the economic and technical prongs of the domestic industry requirement, emphasizing that it makes “extensive use” of the inventions claimed in the asserted patents by virtue of its research, design, manufacture, and testing in the United States of products related to its Swype touch keyboard technology software, currently authorized to be incorporated into and run on “millions of mobile devices across the United States, including mobile phones sold by Samsung, LG Electronics, Nokia, HTC and others.”  Nuance indicates it has spent approximately $179.4 million in research and development expenses in relation to the Swype platform in the United States.  To meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement, Nuance provided claim charts comparing Nuance’s software running on exemplary Samsung devices to claims from the asserted patents.

With respect to potential remedy, Nuance requests that the Commission issue a permanent general exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents.